Milwaukee’s 2020 DNC Organizers Hope Election Results Sway Selection Committee

Milwaukee Voters Overwhelmingly Chose Gov.-Elect Tony Evers

Milwaukee Bucks Arena, Downtown Milwaukee
The Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee. Gretchen Brown/WPR

Milwaukee spoke loudly Tuesday in favor of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers, who claimed 84 percent of the 47,000 outstanding early and absentee ballots.

Alex Lasry, a senior vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks, said he believes the city’s passion for local politics will give it the boost it needs to secure the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Lasry is the local chair of the committee trying to secure the convention.

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“Milwaukee spoke and hopefully the state will now listen and see that Milwaukee is a city that needs to be paid attention to,” Lasry said. “The turnout and the boost in Milwaukee just shows the passion that the people here have. My hope and belief is the DNC will want to come to Milwaukee to be a part of it.”

Milwaukee was named as a finalist, competing against Houston and Miami Beach, in June.

The convention will be held July 13-16, 2020. It is expected to attract 50,000 attendees and have an economic impact of $200 million to $300 million throughout the state, Lasry said.

“The most impressive thing is it’s not just the city,” Lasry said. “This benefits the entire state. That is a big reason why it has gotten bipartisan support, business leader support and community support. This is our way of putting Milwaukee and Wisconsin on the map and reintroducing it.”

The 2016 DNC convention was held in Philadelphia. It reportedly had a $231 million economic impact.

If Milwaukee is selected, it would cost $50 million to $60 million to stage the event.

The cost would be privately financed and the committee is currently raising funds, Lasry said.

“We look at this as an investment,” Lasry said. “You put in $50 million and get back $200 million to $300 million. My dad (Bucks owner Marc Lasry) works in the investment world, and he would take $300 million any day.”

Lasry expects to have a decision from the DNC in late December or early January.

“I feel really good about our chances because Milwaukee has the best story to tell,” Lasry said. “Milwaukee really is a microcosm of what is going on in the country. A former rustbelt emerging as a 21st century city. It is incredibly diverse, it is a city that is really on the rise and it also has the best facilities.”

One of the facilities that was featured in the application for the DNC was the new Milwaukee Bucks arena, the Fiserv Forum, which opened in September.